Virtual labs: One of the hottest trends in tech training in 2018
By Jason Kinsella – 19 March 2018
At the start of each new year, industry commentators and publications are quick to outline their top predictions for the year ahead. In the world of eLearning and online training, some of the key trends to watch include: gamification, adaptive learning, virtual reality in training, and microlearning. These innovations are showing early positive results and it will be exciting to watch their development.
When it comes to technical training, one trend stands out above the rest, namely: hands-on practice in an immersive learning environment achieved by the use of virtual labs.
A virtual lab is a copy of a training environment delivered using the cloud that is pre-configured for real-world learning. They enable hands-on practice during face-to-face instructor-led training, or as part of a virtual classroom. Increasingly, self-paced training programs are including virtual labs, either standalone or as part of a blended learning strategy.
In fashion, or here to stay?
While the jury is still out on some of the newer trends, there is unwavering support for and evidence as to why the use of virtual training labs will provide long-term benefits to those who include them in their training programs.
Here are 3 reasons why virtual labs are here to stay:
1. Virtual labs are as close as you can get to the real thing
It’s well known that when the training environment is similar to the real-world environment, learning takes place and retention is improved. The incorporation of real-world scenarios in virtual labs give learners a safe and controlled opportunity to learn and practice.
2. Complex technical concepts can not be learnt without practice
While emerging technologies such as virtual reality may be useful in certain types of training, complex technical training in IT education and software requires the immersive learning environment provided by virtual labs.
3. Virtual labs are driven by learner needs
Virtual labs are designed around learner needs. Today’s learners not only prefer to learn by doing, they expect and demand a safe environment in which to do so. In addition, because virtual labs are cloud-based, they can be securely accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, thus supporting geographically dispersed learners and on-demand learning.
It’s official: virtual training labs are here to stay.
In an industry that is constantly evolving, organizations must ensure their learning systems are meeting business KPIs while also embedding learning. Virtual labs achieve both goals. In fact, here are 6 excellent reasons to include virtual labs in your technical training. There can be no doubt, virtual labs are here to stay.
Our free whitepaper, How To Deliver Amazing Training With Virtual Labs, will give you insight into the hands-on nature of virtual labs.
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